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Curtain Calls Yesteryear
Various Artists
Curtain Calls of Yesteryear
Audio Rarities
LPA 2300

From the original vinyl LP


1. Dinah 1:01
(Perf. by Eddie Cantor)
(Askt-Young-Lewis) Mills Music - ASCAP

2. My Man 3:22
(Perf. by Fanny Brice)
(Yvain-Pollack) Leo Feist Music - ASCAP

3. Someday I'll Find You 3:02
(Perf. by Gertrude Lawrence)
(Coward) Chappel & Co - ASCAP

4. I Want To Hear A Yankee Doodle Tune
(Perf. by George M. Cohan)
(George M. Cohan & Jerry Vogel) P.D. - ASCAP

5. Bill 3:21
(Perf. by Helen Morgan)
(Kern-Hammerstein II - Wodehouse) T.B. Harms Co. - ASCAP

6. Ma Pomme 2:51
(Perf. by Maurice Chevalier)
Chappel & Co. - ASCAP


1. St. James Infirmary 4:56
(Perf. by Louis Armstrong)
(Primrose) Mills Music - ASCAP

2. Paris, Je T'Aime 2:15
(Perf. by Maurice Chevalier)

3. Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man 3:04
(Perf. by Helen Morgan)
(Kern-Hammerstein II) T.B. Harms Co. - ASCAP

4. Makin' Whoopee 2:15
(Perf. by Eddie Cantor)
(Donaldson-Cahn) Bregman-Vocco-Conn - ASCAP

5. Second Hand Rose 3:12
(Perf. by Fanny Brice)
(Clark-Hanley) Shapiro, Bernstein & Co., Inc., Fred Fisher Music - ASCAP

Executive Producer: Harold Drayson
Engineering: William Hamilton
Art Director: Ron Warwell

(P) 1973 Audiofidelity Enterprises, Inc.
(C) 1973 Audiofidelity Enterprises, Inc.

The nostalgia boom is developing all about us and is bigger than ever. I can state with pride that I had something very proof-positive to do with it all. Ever since I was a youngster following theatrical stars with admiring awe, I have truly loved certain entertainers who represented to me the ultimate in perfection in their very special facet of performance.

This was in effect the fundamental basis for my debut in broadcasting, for as a youngster having a personal acquaintance with such illustrious names I was delighted when the job opportunity came along to pass along the knowledge I had, and to share the joys of knowing such eminent individual in a world of real “make believe” with many thousands upon thousands of others in the outside sector of broadcast audience members.

These many years have passed and I am still doing my “thing,” busier than ever, in both areas of the electronic medium – in other words, television and radio every day and night – and truly happy in the feeling of having given an initial boost to so many success stories emphasizing the achievements of grand show people.

Recently when I was asked by Harold Drayson of Audio Fidelity Records, what I might come up with to depict in glorious sounds some of the highlights of my most pleasurable experiences, I gave it considerable thought. After all you too would find it a bit difficult to choose a few starry moments from years of superior offerings.

When the concentration on the problem was over, I felt I had come up with a true sampling of the best of yesteryear. I have heard the excerpts encompassed a thousand and one times if not more, and I will always look forward to the repeat on the next chance that comes along.

Number one is Dinah by Eddie Cantor, a marvelously talented singer and superbly funny man who was one of my very best friends for so many inspiring years. He did so many numbers so memorably, but Dinah stands out in my mind as one that pleased everyone, from all walks of life, from all age groups – there was no one FINER than Eddie Cantor doing that unforgettable composition.

Dear Baby Snooks, dear dear Fanny Brice was such a lovable individual and when she did her interpretation of My Man millions upon millions of women all over the world sighed along with her and knew exactly what she was feeling …

The elegant, aristocratic image I have of Gertrude Lawrence might not be the remembrance of others who might recall her as saucy, piquant, coquettish, or just incredibly beautiful, but everyone would agree that Someday I’ll Find You as she did it was simply yet extravagantly worthy of unstinting praise.

Think of the feeling of patriotism, of love of our flag, of pride in our country, and anyone with some recollection of yesterday’s great showmen would certainly dwell on George M. Cohan and when he sings I Want To Hear A Yankee Doodle Tune all hearts do beat as one with happy appreciation.

There has seldom been in the history of the universe an all-around theatrical personality of distinctive creative material to equal Cohan. That also goes for Helen Morgan, the songstress with such a wealth of dramatic content in her work that she is another always remembered vividly as if she were around and active today. Bill was one of her very great favorites and no wonder for it brought tears to the most sophisticated faces. I gave much thought to picking a closing sixth selection for Side A and felt that Maurice Chevalier’s Ma Pomme performance was ideal. It had just the right mixture of all those qualities for which his joie de vivre in his “act” is so alive in our memories.

And starting with Side B, Louis Armstrong, a perfect musician in every way, is once again with his fans doing St. James Infirmary and assuredly he scores a bull’s eye hitting the top score of possible pleasant reaction every time. Continuing with a return to Maurice Chevalier, our long-playing album has Paris, Je T’ Aime, a fantastic all-time hit with folks any place who appreciate the appeals of the French capital. Love again plays its sad song in Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man by Helen Morgan and can’t you once again imagine her attentive customers. After this rendition, I felt that what was needed was a really peppy number next and that’s why Eddie Cantor has a return engagement on the disc with Makin’ Whoopee. One of the popular songs of any recent era which has pathos, tugging a tone’s emotions but with a slight injection of innocent humor is Second Hand Rose and Fanny Brice closes our show with her vision. Yes, Eddie Cantor, Fanny Brice, Gertrude Lawrence, George M. Cohan, Helen Morgan, Maurice Chevalier and Louis Armstrong received our ballot of confidence when we made our final decision. I do admit that there might be others added if physical circumstance permitted, but in any roster of outstanding CURTAIN CALLS OF YESTERYEAR could any group be finer? …

To summarize, may I opine that from my vantage point of a very close proximity to the musical vocal art from over a long period, there are good artists and great artists. What makes the difference? How many different ways can the same tune be done and why does one account stand out “ten feet tall” and others just pass the obvious tests of professionalism? Everyone has standards by which to judge and it is my carefully chosen verdict that I have given the listener herein delightful refrains no matter what background and tastes are associated with them.

What is show business without the appreciator? Where is the performer without the public? I have researched the topic of CURTAIN CALLS OF YESTERYEAR a legion of ways and I earnestly believe that what I have come up with in the way of preferences will have universal appeal. I wish that there were the hours to speak to all of you about my favorite anecdotes and personal observations of these grand stars that we pay tribute to on this record. Perhaps that will be made possible in future product. But for now, let us hope that you will agree with me that all the songs in CURTAIN CALLS OF YESTERYEAR are as glorious to hear today as ever before. Bless you all, your friend from the world of nostalgia, Joe Franklin.

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